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How to identify fraudulent emails and messages

LiveMint logoLiveMint 08-05-2017 Vivina Vishwanathan

With increased use of online platforms for transactions, cyber crime has also seen a surge. From time to time, regulators take out public advisories on what you should do when you come across fictitious mails and messages. Here’s how to identify some of these.

Email from RBI governor: If the mail says that the “governor of RBI” or even “RBI” is holding some money in its account for you and it will be sent to you provided you disclose bank details including your personal identification number or password, do not entertain such emails. The mail may even ask you to send some money as transfer fee or commission. Irrespective of how official the email looks, don’t trust it.

Email, SMS from NPCI: National Payments Corp. of India (NPCI) is responsible for retail payment systems in the country. There have been instances where fake email accounts were created to send communication to people using the NPCI’s letter head. Remember that NPCI does not contact anyone asking for money or pre-processing fees, nor does it maintain foreign currency or money in bonds or any other type of funds, for individuals or for companies. It also does not accept any payments for third-parties.

Email stating you have won a lottery: If you have received an email asking for your bank details and claiming that they (the fraudsters) need it to send you money which you won in a lottery overseas, know that it is a fictitious email. According to the Reserve Bank of India, remittance of foreign exchange for participating in lottery or lottery like schemes is prohibited under Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999. Also, unless you have participated in a lottery, how will you win it?

Don’t fall prey to any emails or SMSs that purport to come from a financial sector regulator asking for your bank account details. If you come across such mails, inform the cyber cell or any other department of the law enforcing agency. The RBI also has a list of nodal agencies on its website where you can complain (http://bit.ly/2p0sKxO).

Meanwhile, NPCI has mentioned on its website that if you respond to any such mail, it will be at your own risk, costs and consequences. You can confirm the details and authenticity of the mail by sending an email to riskmanagement@npci.org.in.

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